TCM Genre movies schedule...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, sorry. I've heard them referred to as Hammer productions in the past, but I guess that was in error.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Amicus also did various horror anthology films like The House That Dripped Blood and Tales of the Crypt that are often mistakenly listed as Hammer films.

    Not sure about the Dalek movies, though.
     
  3. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Ah, "Green Slime", back when "naughty tentacle monsters" just choked or crushed one to death...before they hit puberty and discovered anime school girls! :wtf: :lol:

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    They seem to show Green Slime every other week these days.

    There's a bunch of good stuff in that marathon. Manster was a favorite of mine back in the early 70s on Creature Double Feature-- cool monster, cute Japanese girls swimming naked and it was a short movie so there was always an episode of a Flash Gordon serial afterward.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    So far I've watched Manster and Five Million Years to Earth/Quatermass and the Pit live and recorded the others I was interested in. Manster was basically just B-movie schlock, though being a Japanese co-production gave it an interesting edge.

    But I really liked the Quatermass film (the first one I've ever seen as far as I recall, though I've certainly heard of the character). It was a smart, solid SF story with an underlying message about intolerance (I thought the genocidal Martians were a Nazi allegory, but after reading up on Wikipedia I see it was really more about race riots in England). And it had some lovely touches of naturalism -- like Dr. Roney giving a speech in the Underground and having to wait awkwardly when a train roared by just as he was starting to make his important point. Or the bit where the scholar translating the ancient Latin text turned the page and then had to turn back to check a word on the previous page -- since word order isn't always the same in different languages. What marvelous attention to detail! It got a little more erratic toward the end, though; at times the pacing of the scenes seemed a bit off (like the cutaway to the reporter on the pub TV getting cut off as things got erratic coming just before things actually started to get erratic), and some bits of the climactic action were a bit hard to follow. And the ending was a little abrupt; I gather the original serial had a speech at the end that underlined the message more clearly.

    And I can definitely see how Quatermass was an influence on Doctor Who in the '70s. This did almost feel like a prototypical Third Doctor/UNIT story, though Colonel Breen turned out to be a lot more antagonistic than the Brigadier ever was.
     
  6. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Glad you finally got a chance to see Five Million Years to Earth. That's a really great movie that has held up well over time (dicy Martian puppets notwithstanding). A smart, intelligent script, good characters, imaginative concepts . . . probably the best "archaelogical" sf movie ever.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And one of the least idiotic approaches I've seen to the "aliens created humans" trope -- it acknowledges the fact that humans are an integral part of hominid evolution, something that had to evolve here rather than being seeded from somewhere else, but has aliens intervening in that evolutionary process.

    I spent the whole movie trying to remember where I'd seen Dr. Roney before. Turns out he (James Donald) was Group Captain Ramsey in The Great Escape.
     
  8. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds good. I missed it. I hope they play it again soon.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The Green Slime is a mixed bag. Interesting to see a Japanese-produced/directed tokusatsu film with an American/European cast and American-written script. As one might expect, the miniature FX are extensive and pretty cool. The plot starts off with a mission to blow up an asteroid threatening Earth a la Armageddon, but they pick up contamination from the titular life form and bring it back to a space station, and it becomes a pretty standard monster-siege movie. There's a decent attempt at drama between the two male leads, who have a past conflict that parallels the current situation as well as being in a romantic triangle with the really gorgeous Italian leading lady, but the characters are kind of one-note so it doesn't really amount to as much as it could have.

    The odd thing is that the green slime was just the embryonic phase (or something) of the monsters, which were blobby multi-eyed things with lobster-clawed tentacles and were gray and red rather than green. So it's not the most accurate title. Also, it bugged me that they never tried the obvious. The creatures feed on energy of all sorts, so lasering, electrocuting, or irradiating them just makes them grow. You'd think the natural solution is to freeze them, take energy away. Yet that never occurs to anyone in the movie. And what actually does defeat them seems a bit inconsistent with the premise.
     
  10. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    I'm so glad you enjoyed Quatermass and the Pit, Christopher, but I guess that should be no surprise. Now that you've seen it, I urge you (and others) to try out the original TV version:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_i7JxVWxXuw[/yt]
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Although The Monkees' Head is not technically an SF/fantasy film, it's surreal enough that I think it's fair game to discuss here. It's certainly an interesting film, experimental and bizarre. I can see why it failed at the box office; it defied conventions of narrative logic so it wouldn't appeal to everyday moviegoers, yet it was such a deconstruction of and protest against the Monkees' prepackaged media image that it's no wonder the fans didn't go for it. (Imagine one of today's manufactured, autotuned Disney pop idols trying to do something like this.)

    Yet it's interesting how it comments on that prepackaged nature. The Monkees admit in the second song that, yes, they're manufactured, they're not a "real" band. And yet later we get Peter channeling the Guru's wisdom that the mind doesn't distinguish between reality and a persuasive illusion -- and the whole stream-of-consciousness structure of the movie is about challenging our perceptions about what's real and what's illusion, and ultimately dismissing the distinction as irrelevant. (And having Peter, whose traditional role as "the dummy" was emphasized earlier in the film, break character and deliver the core insight further deconstructs the illusion.) The experience is what matters, not the underlying cause. So what does it matter whether the Monkees were created for television or not, so long as their music reaches people? And I daresay that in the long run, the Monkees proved that point, though it took a few decades.
     
  12. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Oh wow, I didn't know that existed, I thought that was one of those shows lost to time and BBC.
     
  13. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I only saw a few minutes of Head, but I have it to watch later... Peter lives in my town actually, he's still a nice guy and funny too.

    Actual conversation:

    Me: "How are you?"
    Him: "At what?"
    :lol:
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Apparently only the first two episodes of the original The Quatermass Experiment serial survive (though the story has been adapted in the Hammer film -- which Kneale wasn't too fond of -- and a 2005 live remake on the BBC), but the other serials survive in their entirety.
     
  15. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    I've heard it jokingly said that Jon Pertwee's era of Doctor Who was, in a way, "Quatermass Light" since the format, that of the Doctor (trapped on Earth) often advised the military on matter of alien invasion, parallaled that of Quatermass.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Not just jokingly. I gather that part of the reason they stranded the Third Doctor on Earth was to give the show more of a Quatermass-like flavor. And stories like "The Daemons" and "Image of the Fendahl" were clearly inspired by Quatermass and the Pit.
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    I was reading an interview with the new head of Hammer Films a few weeks ago. Apparently there's talk of doing a new Quatermass movie, and not necessarily a remake of one of the earlier ones.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hmm, on the one hand, a revival of such an important character from early SF TV/film could be worthwhile, but on the other hand, every Quatermass story to date has been written by Nigel Kneale (or based on one written by him), so having a new writer or writers take over would be a tricky proposition.

    Not to mention that it seems it would be more appropriate to bring him back in a BBC serial.

    But now might be a good time to bring the character back, in one form or another. The original Quatermass was a pioneer in manned spaceflight. That era is past now, but we're just at the dawn of the era of private spaceflight, so Quatermass could be reimagined as working for a firm like SpaceX or Virgin Aerospace rather than for the government.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Anyone else watch those three Italian films they showed during the SF marathon the other day, the ones about the Gamma-One space station? They were simply awful. The plots and dialogue were incoherent, the special effects were dreadful, and the lead characters in the first two (in production order -- TCM showed them in reverse for some reason) were so unlikeable that they were replaced by the third (which actually wasn't shown -- there were four in all). Well, I don't actually know if that's why they were replaced, but I wouldn't be surprised.

    The one redeeming feature in the final one, The Snow Devils, was that it actually acknowledged (albeit clumsily) that observers at Earth couldn't monitor events at Jupiter in real time due to lightspeed time lag. That's so rarely acknowledged in SF film or TV that it's impressive when it is, especially in a movie that's otherwise so silly.

    I gather that The Green Slime was meant to be a fifth film in the same universe, although it didn't have any characters in common, and it was made in Japan instead of Italy so the sets and costumes were different and the effects were much better.
     
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Yes, I watched Snow Devils and I had seen War of the Planets before. There was not much to redeem them. I didn't mind the special effects in either, because I appreciate the retro look, but the characters were less than engaging, to say the least, and most of the plot developments made no sense-- the Yeti were heating up the Earth to melt the ice caps, so they could flood the planet before freezing it, yet activated their freezing device before the planet was flooded. The bottom line was that they were bland and boring.